Panasonic is working on a new large prototype battery designed to help Tesla lower electric vehicle production costs.
According to the tech giant, the move will deepen business ties with Tesla, with the production of a battery that is around five times the size of those currently used by the American manufacturer.
The announcement was made during a media roundtable with Panasonic’s president, Kazuo Tadanobu, who confirmed that the company has no plans to make cheaper Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) batteries for more affordable EVs.
Although he refused to say when Panasonic would begin full-scale production at its plant in Nevada, Tadanobu said: “We have developed this because of the strong desire of the other party, and we think this can only lead to stronger ties.”
Doubt had been cast over the relationship between the two companies after Tesla took the decision to diversify battery suppliers to companies such of South Korea’s LG Energy Solution and China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co.
Panasonic had also sold shares of Tesla, but as the sole manufacturer of the 4680 format, the company remains an important piece of the puzzle for Tesla and the production of its more premium models.
Tadanobu also declined to say whether Apple had approached the company about buying EV batteries.
As reported by Reuters, Apple had been in discussion with CATL and China’s electric vehicle maker BYD about becoming LPF battery suppliers for its planned electric vehicle. Those talks, however have stalled because the Chinese companies have refused to build plants in the United States.